US Jesuits agree £103 million abuse payout
US Jesuits agree to $163 million abuse payout
The US Northwest chapter of the Rome-based Society of Jesus agreed to the payout – which lawyers said is the biggest by a religious organisation in the United States – as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
Most of those abused by priests from the Oregon Province – the Jesuit order which covers the states of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana – were American Indians at mission schools on Indian reservations.
“This settlement recognises that the Jesuits betrayed the trust of hundreds of young children in their care, and inflicted terrible atrocities upon them,” said lawyer Blaine Tamaki.
“These religious figures should have been responsible for protecting children, but instead raped and molested them,” he added.
Victims of the abuse by the Catholic-following order have been watching the case closely, including Clarita Vargas, who said the announcement marked “a day of reckoning and justice.”
“I feel that nothing can compensate for the loss of being whole and being allowed to be a child and growing up in a healthy environment,” she told the Oregonian newspaper.
“But this will start us and continue to help us on our path to healing,” she added.